After three consecutive 13-win regular seasons that didn’t result in a Super Bowl appearance, the Green Bay Packers look to break through with a newly configured offense. While Aaron Rodgers remains at the center of the operation, he will work with several new pass catchers and, more importantly, without All-Pro wideout Davante Adams.
In this series, we look at the most important fantasy-football position battles for each NFL team. Opportunity remains king in fantasy as you can’t deliver production without getting on the field. As such, the first step when evaluating value involves projecting — correctly — which players will win training-camp battles.
Here, we present our picks to win the Packers’ training-camp battles ahead of your 2022 fantasy drafts.
Randall Cobb vs. Romeo Doubs vs. Allen Lazard vs. Amari Rodgers vs. Sammy Watkins vs. Christian Watson
The Packers surely understand that no individual player on their roster can fill the void left by Adams, but they will still have to cobble together a functional group out of a lot of unproven youngsters and spare-part veterans. Barring an addition of an established, still-capable veteran, Green Bay will spend the 2022 season without a prototypical No. 1 receiver, a situation the team has largely avoided during Rodgers’ time as the starting quarterback.
Our pick to win: Allen Lazard
While 2022 draft picks Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs could step into large roles for the Packers by season’s end, wideouts typically do not produce much overall as rookies. That strongly suggests that one of the veterans will end up leading the team in most or all of the major receiving categories. Of the group, Lazard presents the strongest combination of current ability and familiarity with Rodgers. Sure, old standby Randall Cobb might lead the group some weeks and Sammy Watkins could easily deliver a standout performance or two, but Lazard stands the best chance of ending the year with the best overall numbers.
AJ Dillon vs. Aaron Jones
In the traditional sense, the Packers don’t have a position battle among the running backs. Aaron Jones has co-existed with another heavily featured tailback in each of the previous four seasons, most recently with 2020 second-round pick AJ Dillon. The two posted almost identical rushing and receiving yardage last season (1,116 versus 1,190) while Jones had the edge in total touchdowns (10 versus seven).
Our pick to win: Aaron Jones
In truth, neither Jones nor Dillon should “lose” this battle barring injury. But with so much uncertainty in the receiving corps, Jones can reasonably expect to see more work as a receiver, whether out of the backfield or split out wide. That increased usage should more than offset what he might lose as a runner, with Dillon likely seeing a slight increase in his carries. Both backs remain fantasy starters, but Jones has the higher ceiling given the circumstances.